Friday, July 31, 2009

MUSE's new Resistance



I cannot stop listening to this song.

Until I found out about MUSE, I never awarded any one band the title of "my favorite band" (well, aside from Queen). There was no band I ever felt the need to see live in concert, aside from Queen, and without Freddie Mercury it just ain't worth it, y'know? But I digress.

The song above is a part of their upcoming album, The Resistance, scheduled to be released in September of this year. The song, "United States of Eurasia," was released 6 parts through their website muse.mu until the song was complete on July 21, where they played up on the nation of Eurasia being "recognised." But I didn't hear it that way, I actually heard it on the radio one morning and freaked the hell out.

Judging by the song and the name of the album alone, I'd say that MUSE is continuing to head down the path that their last album, Black Holes and Revelations, started. Wars, conspiracy theories, and existentialism abound! I really don't mind it. I'm also so very happy with the music, it's just as good as ever and I have a REALLY good feeling about the rest of the album. Matthew Bellamy's voice actually sounds a little deeper, a little more doom-is-afoot than earlier works, where he sounded more raw, frantic, and a little whiney.

So, as I've said many many MANY times before, I'm freaking excited! I'm so buying that when it drops. As soon as it drops, mark my words!

The only thing I'm upset about is that on their site, they don't list a tour date for anywhere California, let alone Los Angeles or surrounding areas. The UK dates in November are already sold out, can you believe it? And I can't believe there are no California dates! I seriously hope they add some, I just, I can't imagine them not coming to California, we have a lot of venues. They are playing in two places in Texas, though. Am I that desperate? XD

Anyway, expect a review as soon as I get my hands on that album!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mixed Feelings

Within a week's time, I'll be back in Southern California.

I have really mixed feelings about this, but to begin, let me just say that I'm glad we're not flying back.

My dad, sister and I are driving, from Fort Worth, back to L.A., and stopping in Phoenix on the way! The fact that we're roadtrippin' it instead of flying back makes it seem like an easier transition, like going back is an adventure itself, and my dad will still be with us!

It suddenly hit me that my dad will be here all alone when my sister and I leave. I've always known this, but for the first time, it's REALLY hitting me, and I'm getting really sad about it. Now I want to buy my dad a dog or something, some kind of pet to keep him company! :( I'll call him every night when I'm home, yup.

At the same time, I'm really excited to be going home and getting to hang out with my relatives, friends, and do all sorts of fun stuff with them. Being in Texas has made me love both Texas AND California more. Can you believe that I actually want to go to the beach now? Simply unheard of before! XD

This week, and certainly when I get back, is already fully booked:

Monday my sister and I might try to go walk the dogs at the adoption center one last time, and do some last minute shopping.
Tuesday we're gonna take a campus tour of University of North Texas, and then do some shopping probably lol. And start cleaning the house and packing. My dad is flying off for business.
Wednesday my dad isn't here still, and we have to be packing and cleaning and last-minuting...
Thursday is when we set off. Last minute things, my dad gets back and naps for a bit, and then we leave at midnight.
Friday we arrive in Phoenix, AZ, where we meet up with my mom so we can visit our friends in the city :d Sleepoverrrr!
Saturday we spend the day there, and probably leave at night or something. Either way,
Sunday we arrive back home at around noon time.

I'll start work again that week, probably Wednesday and Friday.
The following weekend is my beignet/swimming party, then the next weekend is Chelsea's birthday party, then the weekend AFTER the Seven is trying to get together for Disneyland, and then... okay, free weekend, but probably not for long... then after that is Sammy's birthday party! HOOOOO CRAZY

Thinking of the summer in terms of weekends makes me afraid, school is coming up much too quickly! Gah! The summer is just speeding by!

Let's make it last, folks!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I tumbled.


I have added yet another site to theJollity Empire.

I'm not sure why I was so averse to joining in the first place,
but I think I know why.
I'm afraid I'll like it too much.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince


Unlike a good number of Harry Potter fans, I did not read the sixth book before watching this movie. I did, however, watch the fifth movie, which I think got me more on track than I would have had I read the book.

I saw the movie today with my sister, and I remembered the parts of the book as they came up on screen: what part was different from the book, what was left out, etc. although some parts from other books had a tendency to run together for me. I was getting mad at some part I thought they left out, only to find out later (through Wikipedia) that it's actually a part of the seventh book. Heee.

Anyway, like I've been doing, I'm going to detail my thoughts on the movie below the cut!
Enjoy!


More...

The Plot
First, let me get out of the way my thoughts of the movie plot as it stands alone, with no reference to the book.

I thought it was pretty good, I like how it didn't start off with Harry at Privet Drive like always. That little bit with the cute girl at the café was a nice detail, sort of reminding us all of his 'teenage-ness'.

Altogether it was a bit slow-moving, like someone creeping through a hallway and peeking through every door. I liked how they put some emphasis on the 'they're just normal teenagers, too' aspect, while still managing to plug in all the dangerous and mysterious stuff that went on (most of which ended up being Draco's doing).

The transitioning was smooth, so Harry's accompanying Dumbledore to the cave of the climax seemed natural, if not totally like a climax. The scene seemed to go by rather quickly, and I did feel disheartened when Harry found out that the Horcrux wasn't even the real one.

I'm gonna say this a lot more, but it seemed just like one big buildup.

In reference to the book...
The Harry/Ginny parts were sort of lame! I mean, they kiss in the Room of Requirement? I liked the big deal they made of it in the book, when they just spontaneously kiss after a Quidditch match right in front of Ron, who's just like, "WhatEVER man, go ahead!" I mean, they spent such a long time building it up, and they don't even acknowledge it after they kiss. They do at the end, which is when Harry is actually supposed to break up with Ginny. Details details, I suppose.

Speaking of lack of climaxes, no epic wizard battle.
And Bellatrix stomping around Hogwarts like a crazy bitch does not make up for it.

I suppose it could just be because they didn't want it to get repetitive, after the climactic wizard battle at the end of the fifth movie and the many wizard battles to come in the next movies. So without that sort of climax, we just walked down this long corridor, peeking into every door only to come to the final one, which just leads to open air. I suppose the cave scene could be considered the climax, but it didn't feel like it, especially since the Horcrux was revealed to be fake.

I also didn't like how they just let Harry simply obey Dumbledore as he stood below them and watched everything happen. In the book, Dumbledore immobilized him while he had the invisibility cloak on, so he was physically unable to do anything. I felt like that could have been done, and that it would have been much better.

They also left out a LOT of memories that Harry and Dumbledore were supposed to look through, memories that hinted at what the Horcruxes were supposed to be. But again, I can understand that, they probably wanted to save that kind of action for the 7th movies.

This movie, like the book, was clearly made to build straight up to the seventh.
I got that feeling from the book, and now from the movie, too.

Oh, I did like the inclusion of the Sectum Sempra curse, though.
Don't ask me why. Hee.


The Characters
Last night I watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, just to get myself nice and updated for today's film, and I've got to say, I'm (for the most part) loving the difference in performance. Snape was, for one, more understandable (despite the mumbling), and Dumbledore was better than ever. I recall people saying that in the fourth movie Dumbledore sort of overacts, but he's totally boss here. You know, the movie where he dies.

Harry is a little boring, I'll admit to that. He had a lot more going for him in the fifth movie, where he seemed to be PMSing at every turn. Is The Boy Who Lived getting tired? Hopefully not, because the fun's just beginning.

I don't know if I could love Ron and Ginny more!
Ginny plays a strong character, one certainly worthy of Harry's affections. She's so badass as Quidditch, and pretty assertive everywhere else. I loved Ron acting all dopey and stupid when he was under Romilda's spell. Just excellent.


The Art Design & Cinematography

I have to say, this was beautifully filmed. The camera angles make sense to the movie and really give a strong sense of magic and reality to the wizarding world in which the story is set. One of my favorite scenes was right after the Quidditch match, when Ron and Lavender are shown, through the windows of the tower, climbing up and kissing—and then the camera swoops over to reveal Draco brooding at the balcony. That was fantastic.

The chase-and-battle scene just outside the Weasley's home in the field was very well filmed, too. It felt very handheld-camera, but it was only for that part, and it actually fit. Many filmers tend to abuse this effect (lik in Transformers 2), turning it into a horrible cliché, but it was used properly here: it conveyed a sense of danger close by, a sense of urgency and terror. I'm not sure if it was made clear, but Fenrir Greyback is a werewolf who likes to eat children. Eep.


Other Stuff
I don't have much to say about most of the other parts of the movie, such as the acting or the soundtrack—they were fine, they carried the story just fine (although Draco's body language could have been as good as his facial expressions as he faced down Dumbledore). There was one thing that I remember José telling me, though, after he saw the movie, and it was that a lot of parts (if you're gutter-minded) were unintentionally funny, if you remember the fact that J.K. Rowling intended for Dumbledore to be gay.

"I''ll show it to you, if you'd like."
o_o

In Conclusion

Despite missing parts, I think the movie did well to convey just what the book did: suspense. An ominous atmosphere. A sense of doom. They're just teenagers, hormones a-rage and everything, and yet all these things are falling upon them, and the whole world has to deal with it along with them. A storm's a-comin', and it'll be split into two movies.




I never really like to call these reviews because I don't think I'm very consistent. They're just thoughts on the movie is all, and especially with a movie like this where I've read the book, a lot of it is going to be me comparing it to the book. And unless things like the soundtrack SERIOUSLY blew me away, I'm not going to say much about it.

I've never been one to reread books, but I think I'll reread the seventh one just for kicks before the movie comes out. Probably not right before it, as I might get too blinded by what they cut out (they're going to cut out a lot, to be sure), but we'll see.



Links:
Roger Ebert's Review of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Rotten Tomatoes: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Come Tumbling Down


So my sister is trying to convince me to get a tumblr blog, or a tumblog. Our friend Ian has one, and he's got some pretty good stuff up, and it seems reeeeally cool... but man, I've got this thing already! XD

Shall I add this blogger, my Sans Raison, to the list of blogs I've left behind?

I've toyed around with switching over to Wordpress before, but the fact that you can't save any custom layouts was a real turnoff (even though I don't really do custom layouts, hee. I'm planning to!). I'm aware that Blogger isn't the best or flashiest out there, but I guess I got attached to it. I have three months worth of NaBloPoMo work in here too! XD And I'm not sure that I could import my posts, or if I'd want to anyway.

I wasn't really planning on having a new blog until I create my very own website that would also contain my art/design portfolio.

Decisions, decisions.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bella Swan = Stephenie Meyer?

This article cites Robert Pattinson's (actor for Edward Cullen in the Twilight movies) thoughts on the Twilight books:

"When I read it I was convinced Stephenie was convinced she was Bella and it was like it was a book that wasn't supposed to be published. It was like reading her sexual fantasy, especially when she said it was based on a dream and it was like, 'Oh I've had this dream about this really sexy guy,' and she just writes this book about it. Like some things about Edward are so specific, I was just convinced, like, 'This woman is mad. She's completely mad and she's in love with her own fictional creation.' And sometimes you would feel uncomfortable reading this thing."


When I first read that, I thought, "YES! This guy totally agrees with the sane population! Too bad he's stuck playing Edward."

Then I thought, Did Stephenie Meyer actually describe Bella to look like herself?

I did a bit of a search and came up with Stephenie Meyer's exact description of Bella Swan, pulled from the FAQ portion of her website:

"In my head, Bella is very fair-skinned, with long, straight, dark brown hair and chocolate brown eyes. Her face is heart-shaped—a wide forehead with a widow's peak, large, wide-spaced eyes, prominent cheekbones, and then a thin nose and a narrow jaw with a pointed chin. Her lips are a little out of proportion, a bit too full for her jaw line. Her eyebrows are darker than her hair and more straight than they are arched. She's five foot four inches tall, slender but not at all muscular, and weighs about 115 pounds. She has stubby fingernails because she has a nervous habit of biting them. And there's your very detailed description."


I bolded the parts I thought seemed eerily close to describing what Stephenie Meyer herself looks like...



...the rest seemed to be "idealizing," making her skinnier and younger, etc.
Cripes! Talk about hardcore fantasizing...

Links:
Article where Robert Pattinson says that stuff
Bit where Stephenie Meyer describes Bella

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Messing on Omegle


So I recently Stumbled Upon a site called Omegle, which is basically a site for talking to strangers. There is no signing up, no screennames, no nothing.

This, of course, provides perfect opportunity for messing around with people.

Here's a hilarious conversation I had there:

Stranger: hey
Stranger: asl?
You: HI, IT'S VINCE WITH SLAP CHOP! YOU'RE GONNA BE IN A GREAT MOOD ALL DAY, 'CAUSE YOU'RE GONNA BE SLAPPIN' YOUR TROUBLES AWAY WITH THE SLAP CHOP!
Stranger: haha thats cute
You: NOW HERE'S A POTATO, ONE SLAP, YOU GET BIG CHUNKS FOR STEW! TWO SLAPS, HOME FRIES!
You: NOW WAIT A SECOND, LOOK AT THIS. YOU ADD A MUSHROOM, AND THE MORE YOU DO IT—THE FINER IT GETS! ISN'T IT GREAT?
Stranger: mmm your turning me on
You: NOW, YOU LOVE SALAD—BUT YOU HATE MAKING SALAD. YOU KNOW YOU HATE MAKIN' IT, YOU HATE MAKING SALAD. SO HOW'RE YOU GONNA HAVE ANY SALAD IN YOUR DIET? ONE SLAP—SALAD!
Stranger: your losing me
You: WATCH THIS, YOU'RE GONNA LOVE MY NUTS.
Stranger: mmmmmmmm
You: WATCH THIS, YOU'RE GONNA LOVE MY NUTS.
Stranger: I hope so
You: WATCH THIS, YOU'RE GONNA LOVE MY NUTS.
You: WATCH THIS, YOU'RE GONNA LOVE MY NUTS.
You: WATCH THIS, YOU'RE GONNA LOVE MY NUTS.
Your conversational partner has disconnected.

I invite you (yes, you!) to partake in the fun!
Simply go to Omegle.com, click "Start a chat," et voila!


Post your hilarity or anything interesting in a comment!



Friday, July 10, 2009

Transformers 2


So I saw Transformers 2.
I'm not sure if I should put my thoughts ("review") behind a cut for anybody who hasn't yet seen it, but... who hasn't yet seen it? XD

I'll keep it under the cut for formality's sake.

More...

So Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen was destined to be the biggest movie of the summer, and that it was.

Big graphics, big robots, big noise, big on everything except a sophisticated plotline.

The Plot
What can I say about a plot so thin? Old hero goes to college, wants to be normal, doesn't get to be normal because of his associations with giant alien robots. OPTIMUS PRIME DIES OH NO! Old enemies rise up, threaten humanity and the Earth, and at the last minute when all seems hopeless, SHIA LEBOEUF SAVES OPTIMUS PRIME WHO SAVES THE DAY!

The plot is a half-way decent pull from The Hero's Journey at best, but luckily all the dizzying action scenes distract you from it.

Oh, one thing I thought of: if the Decepticons were able to revive their two-years-dead Megatron from the bottom of the sea with a shard of the Cube, couldn't Sam have done THE SAME THING with Optimus Prime with HIS Cube shard?! Instead of having to go through all this weird robot history in Egypt and having the Matrix turn to dust, only to have it come back after Sam has a whacked-out near-death dream about ancient Transformers? That was whack, btw. If there's something I missed about why Optimus Prime HAD to be revived with the Matrix and not the Cube, please tell me. I was probably too busy being blinded and deafened by the crazy CGI and soundtrack.

The Action

Okay, the action was plentiful to be sure, but I could hardly call it graceful or well-choreographed. Then again, what was I expecting from giant robots? During some of the action scenes, I couldn't tell which robot was which, or what exactly they were doing to each other. When two robots get so close to one another, all their little whirring parts mesh together until you couldn't tell if he stabbed him or ripped his arm off.

There's also a lot of explosions, and running from explosions.
But see, the only ones who have the ability to run from explosions are Shia LeBoeuf, Megan Fox and their crew. The highly trained soldiers of the United States and Jordanian military, with years of intense mental and physical training under their belts, simply cannot outrun the robots and the explosions. Tsk tsk.

The Humor

Haha, the humor. You see, I felt like I should have laughed at some of the jokes, like Sam Whitwicky's mother being all crazy and getting high, but something about it disturbed me more than made me think it was really funny.

Oh, those two robots—the twins?—what was up with them? The big ears, gold teeth, "We don't really do much reading" and the jive-talk? I heard about them before seeing the movie and everybody said it was racist. At first I thought, okay, it can't be that bad, people are probably just butthurt. But no, it really was that bad.

There were also plenty of jokes involving balls.
How old were the writers, like 14?
Most of the times I laughed were because the jokes were so bad that I went on and laughed because it was so bad.

The only time I genuinely laughed was when the old-guy Transformer, the Blackbird I think, was rambling about how his first ancestor was the wheel. "Know what he transformed into? NOTHING! But he did so with honor and dignity!"

Oh, I also laughed at Sam freaking the hell out in his astronomy class.
That was pretty hilarious.


The Special Effects
Oh, this movie is rife with it. I have to applaud the animators for having the guts to animate all these crazy robots. But the thing is, did they have to be that crazy-looking? The Transformers cartoon had these babies transform gracefully and all high-tech-like, but the Transformers in the movie kind of clunk around into this behemoth made up of several little metal parts. I understand the logistics behind it: not much on the outside, more on the inside, but couldn't it have been a little more discernable? Like I said, when the robots were fighting, they all kind of mushed together.

Optimus Prime was just a big mess of a shit-ton of metal when the old-guy Transformer lent him his parts... it was really ugly and sad. Good thing he shed it off next to the Sphinx at the end of the battle.

But really, the effects were incredible. Big ups to the animators.


In Conclusion
See, I really didn't have very much to talk about here. The majority of the movie consisted of robots running around beating each other up. See how easily I summed that up?

The movie is entertaining, and if you want to be entertained and don't want to think too much, go ahead, see this movie. I'll admit, while watching it, I did laugh some, and I was entertained

If I had to sum it up in a sentence, it'd have to be this: Transformers 2 is an overgrown, overglorified cartoon, with all the bells and whistles Michael Bay could possibly muster.





Here are links to some of my favorite reviews of Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen:

Roger Ebert's Journal: The Fall of the Revengers
io9: Michael Bay Finally Made an Art Movie
Topless Robot: Bonus! Rob's Transformers 2 FAQ's!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

So it goes

Life here in Texas has been pretty chill.

Now that my mom has gone back to California and my dad back to work, my sister and I are left to our own devices during the day. Usually this means lots of TV, internet, and eating. Just like summer at home! Sans friends, that is.

My sister and I recently startd to volunteer at the local Pet Adoption Center. We started yesterday, walking some of the dogs and just giving them a chance to be out of the cages. Mika and I walked 3 each, while I played with a fourth pit bull who went batshit at the sight of some little kids. Nobody got hurt, thankfully, save for a couple scratches that aren't even anything. Volunteering there for the first day kind of put into perspective how difficult this is for me: I haven't dealt with a dog in years, and I'm pretty small, the dogs tug me around all the time, which makes it hard to do that thing you're supposed to do with dog, establishing yourself as the "alpha." We're going back later today to have some more fun.

When my dad comes home, he takes my sister out driving. This is good, because she said she'd get her license before summer's end, ensuring my freedom from having to take her to school during the school year. That means I'll be able to do more things in Long Beach, like take more classes and join clubs and other extracurriculars! Apparently she's getting good at driving, so this is very good.

After they get back, it's dinner time, and my dad teaches me how to cook. We've been stir-frying for the past two "lessons," something I've always been rather terrified of, but it's going well. It really is rather easy. I find that I learn better when I am told what to do, and then allowed to do it, rather than just being shown. That helps too, but not as much. Ironically I scored lowest on "visual learning" when I took several "learning aptitude" tests at school. Why is it ironic? Because I'm in graphic design. What a dull joke.

Although it's fun here in Texas, I miss California. I actually want to go to a beach, I want some In-N-Out, and I want to see my friends and relatives. It's lonely here. Now I know how my dad feels 75% of the year :(

Well, that's about it for today. Maybe I'll go play Half-Life 2 once I get a hold of a mouse (it isn't as fun on a trackpad).



Jolls out.
And another one bites the dust.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hot Gimmick



I just finished reading the manga series Hot Gimmick by Miki Aihara.
I had started reading it in sophomore year of high school, but finished it only now (scanslations ftw). When I stopped reading before I thought I was getting tired of it, like I thought the plot wasn't going anywhere, and now that I've finished it... well, I've written my spoiler-filled thoughts below, so feel free to jump under the cut to read them!

More...

I only half-way enjoyed reading Hot Gimmick, and for several reasons I will now outline:

THE GOOD

Okay, first of all, the art is very good.
I enjoyed the simplistic style that's unique to it, instead of a lot of manga styles that are so glaringly annoying with the massive and shiney eyes and the too-pointy noses and chins and the too-noisy chibi moments. I felt Hot Gimmick was a little more watered down than that, and I really enjoyed that.

Some elements of the plot were very good too.
My favorite was how the history of the parents in the company tied into and directly effected the lives of their children, namely the instance of Ryoki's father having an affair with Azusa's mother, and then using Hatsumi's dad as a cover-up. It really reflects the way Ryoki exercised control over Hatsumi, and how Ryoki's mother lorded over everybody in the complex. The Tachibanas are a controlling family, and the characterization was very well done.

Moreover, Ryoki's father explained to Azusa that his mother always chose her family, meaning her real husband and Azusa, over him (Ryoki's father). This reflects how Hatsumi chooses her own family over Ryoki several times throughout the story.



THE BAD


I did say I had mixed feelings about this series, and most of it had to do with character development. In a good story, I expect to be moved through their tale and I expect the characters to end up somehow changed at the end. Now, some of the characters did change, like Shinogu becoming a priest and the Tachibanas divorcing and moving away... but I'm rather upset about the main characters, Ryoki and Hatsumi.

Throughout the series Hatsumi has been pursued by three men, the most insufferable of which is Ryoki Tachibana. He constantly bullies and orders her around, making her his "slave" no matter what other label he gives her and he does not understand her feelings, wants, or needs whatsoever. And yet Hatsumi just takes it! She is submissive several times, and though she has her moments, she always goes back to him. And not once does Ryoki show any gratefulness, he continues to call her a stupid idiotic woman who is blind for not realizing her feelings for him.

It's like a domestic case of Stockholm Syndrome.



THE UGLY


This is where I get to unleash just how I feel about all the bad stuff!

I suppose I like strong, independent female characters more, because Hatsumi seems anything but. She shuffles between Ryoki, Shinogu and Azusa and in the end ends up with the worst of the bunch: Ryoki. I suppose it can't be helped, she's supposed to be 16 in the manga, and she's allowed to be foolish, but it's pretty damn ridiculous. How many impressionable young minds will read this and think that that behavior is okay?

At the very end, one of the last things Ryoki says to Hatsumi (who is his fiancée by the end of the series) is "That's an order!" He's been saying that since he made her his slave at the beginning, and to think that he still says it now and she takes it? That's sickening! It's like how Sandra changed herself just for Danny Zuko's sake at the end of Grease! It's like how Bella can do nothing if she's not depending on Edward in Twilight!

What else just made me want to throw up was the possibility of Shinogu and Hatsumi getting together, which was dangerously close near the end. And their mother even said she would allow, CONDONE it even! I understand that Hatsumi and Shinogu are not blood-related, but would you be able to date someone who you've seen as your literal brother your entire life? That's just sick. Ryoki says it all the time in the manga, and that's one thing he and I can agree on.

So yea, the book is rather twisted, and I didn't get the ended I would've liked, boo-hoo. Who knows, maybe Hatsumi is just used to being submissive and it works out and that Ryoki's horribleness is just his way of saying "I love you."

You'll never see me taking that kind of shit from any guy.

All in all, it was okay.
I will still love the art style forever because it's so pretty.

Also, if I were to write the ending, I would all have them go separate ways.
I would have Ryoki realize that, in criticizing his mother's overbearing dominance, he is being hypocritical because that's how he is to Hatsumi. I'd have him be humbled and at least be nice beter he ever got back with her. But really, the perfect ending would be if Hatsumi didn't end up with anybody, and she just went on to grow up and become self-sufficient.

But that's just me ;)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Things I Take For Granted

I saw this post over at my friend Lauren's blog on the Top Ten things she takes for granted.
Quite a simple yet inspiring, and now I'm doing it.

Top Ten Things I Take for Granted

10. Good health. Lauren's right, you never really notice it until it's gone, like when you've come down with the flu or a cold. When my nose is plugged, I long for the day both nostrils are clear again. When my stomach is hurting, I realize how you're basically immobile when your stomach isn't in order. Here's to good health!

9. The senses. I deeply enjoy the fact that all my senses are in working order. It allows me to enjoy music, be an artist, feel, smell, taste, yea, you learned all this in elementary school. Again, you never really realize this until you're deprived of one of your senses. Like being numb? Holy crap, scary experience.

8. My friends. Especially the ones who have always been there for me. I'll admit, I get into the bad habit of not being in as much contact with older friends (especially when I started hanging out with new people), but I do my best to try to send an IM or text or something just to say hi. I never forget any of you, I hope you know that! I'd be nothing without you guys.

7. Blogging and journalling. I've been doing this since I was little because my mom taught me how, and now I wonder how people get by WITHOUT recording what happens in their life. It seems so basic and essential to me that I take for granted that it is actually a learned habit and skill. That said, everybody should be journalling. ;P

6. The great outdoors. In a world where electronic entertainment abounds, it's easy to forget the joys of being outside. We live in just about the best planet for the next thousand light-years, so why the hell do I spend so much time cooped up in front of the computer? The sun is shining, the colors are everywhere, and dammit, I SHOULD be outside!

5. Technology. It used to be "the internet," but I think it's better to have this great big umbrella category. People may say that we're rotting our brains with technology, but really it's because we so often take for granted its usefulness. It's our connection to the world as it sits on the bleedig edge of the future. Sometimes I actually get scared of the latest technology, but it really is wonderful to know that the human race becomes more advanced every day. Let's just use it responsibly, okay? ;)

4. Education. A lot of these are just big ideas that permeate the entire world. I'm so damn lucky to be living where I am and getting the education that I'm getting. Yea yea, homework and projects and tests and essays eat at me during the school year, but it's all for KNOWLEDGE!

3. My hands. It's true! I use my hands for so much all the time: drawing, typing, holding things, petting animals, etc. If my hands were to be cut off or impaired in any way, I would be depressed forever.

2. Home cooking. I recently realized this over our 5-day roadtrip. We were eating out every day, at least twice a day! I'm all for eating out and everything, but after a while I started to really miss things like my dad's soup, my mom's adobo (which we had once we got home, thank God), and all the good home cooking that I always had at home. Just goes to show that there are some things you never get tired of.

1. My parents. I'm a little sad when I say this, but it's true. Sometimes I'll get indignant if they're being protective of me, and that's when I take them for granted the most, because then I forget that they have fed and clothed me ever since I was born. Their wishes for me are only their best interests for me, and even if my decision or opinion differs from theirs, I should respect what they have to say. Not only that, but they don't force me into anything. My parents may be of the strict Asian variety, but they didn't force me into becoming a nurse! Hell, I'm a graphic design major and they still love and support me! I'm super thankful for them, and am sorriest that I take them for granted sometimes.